We take you through the hits that made Aubrey Drake Graham aka Drake the global superstar he is today. We’re talking all the big tracks that topped the charts to the early stuff that laid down the foundations for Drizzy’s rise to fame.
Drake, real name Aubrey Graham, has completely turned the hip-hop genre on its head, all in the space of a few years. With ground-breaking streaming numbers, questionable (yet iconic) dance moves and an influential flow, the boy from Canadian has quickly become the hottest rapper alive…and the flames are still burning.
After a four year stint in acting, Drake swapped Canadian TV for Lil Wayne’s record label, Young Money Entertainment, after the CEO won his signature following what’s described as “one of the biggest bidding wars ever”. Now, with a reported net worth of around $60 million, 6 number 1 LPs and almost 10 million records sold, I’m pretty sure Weezy is over the moon he won Drake over back in ‘09.
But, what made Drake the artist he is today?
He’s good, but there’s Room for Improvement…
Before putting pen to paper with YMCMB, Drake released two mixtapes, Room For Improvement in 2006 and So Far Gone three years later, both of which helped give the rapper a platform to propel himself into the limelight. Room For Improvement allowed Drake to find his feet, find his form and find his flow, something which he developed and certified throughout the whole of So Far Gone.
Stand-out tracks? Kick, Push remix (Room For Improvement), Best I Ever Had, The Calm, Sooner Than Later (So Far Gone).
You can thank us later..
Just over a year since signing to Young Money, Drake, with help from his mentor Lil Wayne, released his very first studio album, Thank Me Later. The debut album was extremely well received by both fans and critics and claimed the Number 1 spot in the UK R&B Albums Chart, Canadian Albums Chart and on the US Billboard.
Stand-out tracks? Over, Find Your Love, Miss Me and Fireworks. Disagree? Tell us @BcardArena.
What an album this was / is with each single being unique in its own right. Eight of the 20 tracks featured on Take Care were released as singles, with 6 of them breaking into the top 10 of the US Billboard Chart. The album is certified gold in the UK, 2 x Platinum in Canada and a whopping 4 x Platinum in the USA after selling millions of copies.
Rather controversially, what I like most about this album is the collaborations.Some music snobs are a bit funny about collabs, but when you have the standard of artists that are featured on Take Care, it kinda works. Kendrick Lamar, Rihanna, Andre 3000, Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj, Birdman, The Weeknd and of course, Lil Wayne…how can you not LOVE this?
Stand-out tracks? Take Care, Crew Love, The Motto and Headlines. Seriously, I can tell you disagree, just tweet us.
Music, nay, nothing was the same without a Drake LP release in almost two years…
After producing arguably one of the rap albums of the decade (and a world tour to go with it) it’s no wonder the releases from Drake began to slow down a little bit. He made us wait a whole TWO years before finally giving us studio album number 3…Nothing Was The Same. Drake experienced with a different sound throughout this album and it couldn’t be further away from his previously releases.
In this LP Drake knows he’s in control of the rap game and rather than featuring lots of other big artists, he uses his power to promote upcoming stars such as Jhene Aiko, Majid Jordan, Detail and UK artist Sampha (yes, we know Jay Z also features on it too, but shush, you get the point). It was a game changer for rap with loads of artists pinching similar beats, hooks and flows that Drake used in the worldwide number 1 album.
Stand-out tracks? Started From The Bottom, Worst Behaviour, Hold On We’re Going Home and Own It.
Mixtapes are the future…
In between studio album number 3 and studio album number 4, Drake released two commercial mixtapes, ‘If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late’ and a ‘What A Time To Be Alive’ a joint production with US rapper Future. Both compilations dropped in 2015 via Apple Music, giving us crazed Drizzy fans the chance to top up our ‘I Love Drake’ playlists.
Stand-out tracks? Jumpman, Diamonds Dancing (What A Time To Be Alive), Jungle, Know Yourself (If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late).
Look at those Views
Drake gave us Views in April of last yet and on it's release it accumulated over 245 million streams, completely smashing the previous record held by Queen B. As he demonstrated in his previous albums, Drake tends to give each a LP a different feel and Views does exactly that...it gives us all te feels. Keep The Family Close, Childs Play and 9 are epic album tracks, but not necessarily something you'll hear on your radio. Whereas Controlla, One Dance and Too Good are commercially friendly, helping Drizzy establish himself as a chart topper.
You can't mention Views without talking about possibly the most meme'd song in the history of absolutely everything ever...Hotline Bling. The single features as a bonus on the album, but is arguably the lead track due to the amount of attention the video got. Dodgy dance moves or marketing genius? We'll let you decide. On writing this article, the video has gather over 1 BILLION views and it just keeps rising.
The song went on to claim Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Song at the 2016 American Music Awards and TWO Grammy nominations for the 2017 Awards for both Best Rap Song and Best Rap/Sung Performance.
Stand-out tracks? Hotline Bling, Feel No Ways, Controlla & Too Good.
Drake arrives back here in Birmingham this February as part of his Boy Meets World Tour, and we've not seen a set-list yet, but we know it's gonna be full on bangers! Make sure you snap up the last few remaining Drake tickets now.